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Santorini Emerges as One of the World’s Top Tourism Destinations

santorini-national geographicWith two million visitors arriving each year — or nearly 10 percent of the total number of tourist arrivals for the whole country — as well as frequent first-place rankings in surveys of favorite holiday destinations, the Greek island of Santorini has emerged as one of the top tourism destinations worldwide.

There are currently 75 airlines offering flights to Santorini, with their number rising and flights arriving from dozens of countries, reaching as many as 57 a day during the summer months. Visitors also arrive on cruiseships that dock at Santorini from March until almost Christmas, letting off as many as 25,000 people a day.

According to Thira (Santorini) Mayor Nikolaos Zorzos, the island is very close to achieving the target of all-year tourism. He noted that some 100 hotels remained open throughout the winter of 2015-2016 — representing one eighth of the island’s total accommodation capacity — in order to serve visitors in the winter months. He noted that the small size of hotels on Santorini made this feasible, since hotels that stayed open did not have such high running costs as the larger units on other islands.

Zorzos said that Santorini’s goals in terms of tourists were not quantitative but how to better coordinate and distribute arrivals, in order to ensure that visitors had the best time possible. He said the Municipal Harbour Funds of Santorini and Mykonos had commissioned a study on “berth allocation” from the University of the Aegean in order to achieve this goal, so that arriving cruise ships only let off as many visitors as the island could handle.

The island was also seeking to develop theme tourism, such as gastrotourism, wine tourism, cultural tourism in its bid to become a year-round destination, with plans to open a new geology museum this year and increase available hiking routes from the current eight to 19, he said. Work on the island with EU funds was continuing, he added, such as a recent project to remove electricity pylons from the view down into the caldera.

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Top 10 Things to Do on the Greek Island of Santorini


British newspaper Express published an extensive article on the Greek island of Santorini, advising prospective tourists on their options once they arrive on the “crown jewel of Greece.”
The list of top 10 things to do in Santorini includes various activities from cruises to wine tasting. First of all, Express proposed a trip to some of the island’s most famous beaches, such as Red Beach, known for its red and black volcanic pebbles, as well as Kamari Beach, “overlooked by the imposing Meso Vouno rock.”
Furthermore, a walk through the idyllic village of Oia, one of the most photographed places in Greece. “Oia is said to have some of the most beautiful sunsets on earth,” however, there are other places across the island, such as Imerovigli or Vlichada, where visitors will have the chance to experience a breathtaking spectacle.
“Bed down in a cave house, a famed part of Santorinian architecture,” proposed Express. The cave houses were built by locals who were trying to protect themselves and their properties from the strong winds. Several of these houses have been restored and refurbished in order to accommodate tourists.
Visitors should also make sure to sample the local cuisine and book a cruise so that they have the chance to experience every aspect of the Greek island’s beauty.
Next on Express’ list is the wine. “Wine production on Santorini dates back to Roman times and it is still one of the main local products. The volcanic landscape is said to give the wine here special features, so why not see for yourself and book a winery tour,” the article noted.

A visit to the beautiful village of Emporio or Kasteli would be perfect for people who love walking through picturesque landscapes, while Akrotiri is a site full of history. “Wander the streets and squares of this prehistoric city that 30,000 once called home and is often referred to as the ‘Pompeii of the Aegean,” wrote Express.

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